I am an Airbnb host since 2019 but also did hosting about 4 years in earlier days of the company. What i experienced earlier was by doing hosting, i was meeting with amazing people and had almost no issues with any of them. Last 2 years Airbnb started to promote and expanded their guest costumers.
Of course it's a company and profits would be main focus but i believe there's some lack of preparation and here's the main issues i've experienced lately:
P.S: I studied tourisms management in college for 4 years and had many experience in hotels and agencies so i believe i can make a point here.
1- Lots of new users don't have any idea what Airbnb culture is. Most new users expects a hotel-like experience which is weird cause neither we hire staff like a hotel, what they pay is MUCH LESS than a hotel (at least in Istanbul) and that's a major issue cause no matter how you prepare, it won't met the expectations of a guest, and that brings unwanted situations with them.
2-The way Airbnb support deals with such situations is also not host-supportive. They have a weird policy for comments which is also annoying me. Let me give an example. I have an apartment in the most expensive and popular area of Istanbul and i had 17 guests with almost all 5 star ratings. At 18th guest we had some issues and guest rated full 1 star in his review. I contacted support and they didn't make any changes. They thought 1 star for every single category was fair and not malevolence. I am not defending any side here. Even one side is fully responsible for an issue, using review mechanism like this wouldn't be allowed. Cause this is obviously not accurate and right. Even a malevolent would do something right, but it's impossible to explain to Airbnb support.
Those issues will be a challange for Airbnb in the future cause another brand definately will arrive by solving those.
It is a different 'Airbnb World' today probably because of the amount of bookings they handle at any given time; they may now be 10x fold from when you first were with them. Multitudes usually causes 'average' in thinking and policies to be able to handle the sheer numbers. Think dealing with a stampeded herd of cattle where the limited handlers are just trying to keep it running in the same direction with hardly have any time to deal with strays.
I hope that imagine has given you some incite into what you are dealing with nowadays. I do fancy myself one of the 'strays'. 😉
@Al227 It's funny - 10 years ago, whenever hosts were venting amongst ourselves, the most frequent lament you'd hear was "THIS IS NOT A HOTEL!!!" These days the problems are much harder, as hosts have to vigilantly fend off party-throwers, refund scammers, indoor smokers, and emotional-support warthogs - it seems like simpler times when we just wanted people to understand that private homes don't have a 24-hour check-in desk and daily room housekeeping.
But what is "Airbnb culture" now? When I look at the landing page for the platform, I can hardly tell it apart from a lifestyle magazine for globetrotting real-estate speculators. "Doing an Airbnb" now is no longer renting out a spare room in your house to pay the bills; property managers are squeezing traditional hosts out of the market, snatching livable housing from a parched market, and converting it into soulless holiday flats with keypads and Live Laugh Love signs. And for the new generation of guests, "renting an Airbnb" means getting a big house where you can throw a wild party and make someone else clean up. The old-school hosts and guests still exist, but only in a minority now.
The collapse of support post-outsourcing is a whole other story, and yes it's a mess. But I don't remember a time when it was their policy to selectively edit reviews or ratings on hosts' request. That would be a bit of a thumb on the scale, wouldn't it?